Career CFI

E_Dawg

Moderator
Here's another one out of the blue from good ol' SGE:

Is anyone here a self employed CFI? How about anyone who loves CFIing and dosen't want to 'move on' to the airlines or whatever?

It's quite sad IMHO that the job of CFI is generally considered a stepping stone and is thus synonymous with relatively low wages and long hours. Is it even possible to make a living on a CFI salary (career job)?

The only way I'd think it'd be possible is if you were either a top instructor at a good school, or if you have a large student base and own your own aircraft, in which case things like maintaince and insurance would be a major issue.

I guess my question is... is it possible? And how?
 

aviator

New Member
If a career CFI position interests you I would suggest affiliating yourself with a University program or one of the larger academies. Most will have a variety of salaried positions which over the long run offer a much greater degree of income stability......
 

DrBenny

New Member
My CFI is a career CFI. He was in the air force, and he has also flown corporate. He has a family of five and owns a very nice single-family home. He does work hard, but he loves teaching, likes setting his own hours, and loves the independence. He owns three aircraft (150,172, Zlin), is a partner in at least one other aircraft, and may be purchasing a 182 soon.

I am very lucky to be studying with this 30,000+ hr CFI.
 

JediNein

New Member
>Is anyone here a self employed CFI?

I guess you could say that I am. I'm an independent contractor to three businesses, having shed the employee thing last year.

>How about anyone who loves CFIing and dosen't want to 'move on' to the airlines or whatever?

Right here, too.

>Is it even possible to make a living on a CFI salary (career job)?

I'm aiming for 50K next year, probably somewhat less than that this year. The CCFI topped 70K last year. Another CFI friend made over $100,000, and a third made around 70K working three times per week.

>The only way I'd think it'd be possible is if you were either a top instructor at a good school, or if you have a large student base and own your own aircraft, in which case things like maintaince and insurance would be a major issue.

I guess my question is... is it possible? And how?

Specialize in an area. Privates. Instruments. Avionics. Whatever.
Hold yourself up to a high standard.
Commit to a continual improvement of 1% each week.
Give an awesome ground school or ten, or WINGS Seminars, and build the student base.
Don't compete on price.
Give the clients more than they expected.
Get your articles and books published.

There is someone out there, wide awake, staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning all night, wondering who can solve their problem in flight training. Be the person that can solve their problem.

I just had my first billing of $100 per hour. The student didn't even wince. The cost of his time was far greater than any price he was paying. I essentially have three prices for my flight instruction: really expensive, for barter, or free. (I instruct for free in Civil Air Patrol, WINGS, and a few other organizations. Every hour I've given to C.A.P. or WINGS has been doubly rewarded back to me.)

Fly SAFE!
Jedi Nein
 

sbav8r

New Member
Might want to think about applying to be a DPE at some time in your career. The owners of my flight school were both DPE and instructors, seem to do quite well.
 

EricT

New Member
My CFII is a career flight instructor. He and his wife operate a small shop with a Warrior, C172, C150, and Tomahawk. They are not rich, but they are not in the poor house either. He has taught me a ton of tricks that I feel a low time CFI would not have had exposure too. He truely loves to fly and enjoys to teach. I think that combination is important. I honestly think that if I could talk my sugar momma..., er wife into it that I would follow his path.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Hey thanks for the info everyone. I have a lot of respect for CFIs; even more now with the completion of my instrument training...
 
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